60 Minutes Crew Add To Number Of Aussie Journalists Detained This Year

16/04/2016 7:42 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Tara Brown and the 60 Minutes crew continue to wait in a Lebanon prison over the weekend before appearing before a judge in Beirut on Monday.

Reports say the judge is urging Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner to reach an agreement with her former husband Ali el-Amien, trading in sole custody on home soil for el-Amien to drop kidnapping charges.

The case stemmed from a botched child recovery operation which is complicated, and you can read all about it here, but the 60 Minutes crew are not the first Aussie journalists to be detained in 2016, or in the past year.

The crew's action has been heavily criticised, with former journalist and current University of Melbourne academic Denis Muller describing Nine's mission as "cowboy journalism" and saying he would have never attempted it.

Each situation is unique, and case involving the 60 Minutes crew is serious, but all stress the risk taken to report on international stories.

In March a Four Corners investigation left reporter Linton Besser and cameraman Louie Eroglu detained in Malaysia. It all came about after Besser questioned the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak over a corruption scandal at a press conference.

linton besser

Louie Eroglu and Linton Besser.

The pair were detained on the spot and threatened with charges. After going back and forth with authorities, Besser and Eroglu had their passports taken but were then told to go quietly and escorted onto a plane bound for Singapore.

Besser told ABC Radio he has never received paperwork stating the two were formally deported.

In September a former editor of The Age Alan Morison and his Thai colleague Chutima Sidasathian were found not guilty of defamation charges under the Computer Crime Act.

alan morison

Alan Morison and Chutima Sidasathian.

The pair face up to seven years imprisonment after reporting on the alleged involvement of Thai navy officers in human trafficking (of Burmese Rohingya refeguees specifically).

peter greste

Peter Greste was released in February after 13 months imprisonment in Egypt.

And in February, after spending 13 months in an Egyptian jail, Aussie journalist Peter Greste was released and allowed to return to Australia.

Greste was convicted in June 2014 -- while working as a reporter for Al Jazeera -- of spreading false news aiding terrorists belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood with two colleagues, Canadian-Egyptian Mohammed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohammed.

Greste was sentenced to seven years imprisonment but a retrial saw him released.

The fate of the 60 Minutes crew remains undetermined as each person faces a number of charges including conspiring to commit a crime, kidnapping and physical assault.

More than one week has passed since the crew, along with Faulkner and the child recovery workers, were detained.

As each member, including reporter Tara Brown, waits to appear before the judge on Monday, only time will tell.

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